Folded Sky, Homage to Colin Powell

U.S. Embassy, Kingston, Jamaica

The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE) commissioned the artist Dorothea Rockburne to create a 41-foot tall by 16-foot wide mural for the atrium lobby of the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica. The work, titled Folded Sky, Homage to Colin Powell, was done in honor of the former Secretary of state and his family, who immigrated from Jamaica. The piece depicts the constellations over Jamaica on the night he was born, April 5, 1937.

Working alongside Rockburne’s guidance, our muralists were able to bring her vision to life. Our team searched for a wall in NYC large enough to accommodate a 41-foot painting for over a year, looking into Broadway theaters and armories. The team fortunately found a space for the mural to be painted at the Queens Museum of Art. After executing the piece, which consisted of layout composition, pouncing, and application of all gold leaf details, our muralist rolled, crated, and shipped the finished canvas on a 16″ x 36″ diameter tube to Kingston. Finally, our artists and installers traveled to Jamaica, prepared the wall for the mounting, and attached the three-story mural to the atrium wall, seamlessly integrating it into the space.

Rockburne draws interest for her work from the Golden Mean, astronomy, and cosmology, and her fascination with the ancient Egyptian use of proportion and light. These influences function as the foundations for the way she paints, cuts, draws, folds, and measures to create complex works of art.

“The entire painting and installation process of Folded Sky, Homage to Colin Powell exemplifies how art encourages cultural understanding of the United States abroad,” said FAPE Chairman Jo Carole Lauder. “FAPE is delighted to bring together artists and architects, as well as the public and private sectors, to create timeless artwork for permanent display in U.S. embassies around the world.”